By Simeon Nwakaudu
A few days ago, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike visited Bolo in Ogo/Bolo Local Government Area where he initiated the construction of 30 kilometres of Internal Roads in the ancient town. This sent the entire community into wild celebration. This is in addition to several other projects executed for that community.
The roll out and execution of projects have been replicated in all 23 Local Government Areas of the State in varying degrees. It goes without saying that Rivers State parades the best governor, with the best projects delivery capacity in Nigeria.
At his outing in Bolo, Governor Wike once again challenged the APC to present her state governors for a peer review with Rivers State.
“I challenge the APC to go to their states and talk about projects, when they cannot even pay salaries. Here we have paid salaries and pensions and we are consistently rolling out projects, even during Christmas “, he said.
While the APC will never take up the challenge, as over 95percent of their states have failed woefully alongside the Federal Government, they have resorted to sponsorship of anti-Rivers narrative on Channels Television.
The intent is to mislead Nigerians in view of the nationwide applause that Governor Wike is receiving for his projects. The APC used the social media and the print media, but failed. Over the last few days, prime time programmes on Channels Television have been used to lampoon the government and people of Rivers State. First it was Amaechi appearing on Question Time, then his hatchet man of a faction of a traders club appeared.
On the thursday appearance, Channels Television focused on the budgets of Rivers State. The trader sat alone and rained unprintable and motor park insults on Governor Wike. It was similar to the Amaechi appearance. It was one-sided and unprofessional. The presenter said he called officials of Rivers State Government to hear their explanation. As usual, it was just an alibi for a grossly unprofessional attack on Rivers State. Even the lawyer called by the presenter was guided to corroborate the view of the trader.
This last attack on Rivers State was on the 2016 and 2017 budgets. This is not the first time that the APC is sponsoring this falsehood. The claim was that the budgets are not available to the public is completely false. The budget is online.
Right from the time Governor Wike presented the 2016 and 2017 budgets, the budgets have been in public domain. All due processes were followed. The State House of Assembly held public hearings, passed the budgets and Governor Wike assented to the two budgets in public.
Significantly, the APC have six members at the Rivers State House of Assembly. These six lawmakers have access to the budgets and they have been participants in the regular oversight of the budget implementation.
The APC lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly include: Victoria Nyeche, Port Harcourt Constituency 1; Mathew Dike, Tai Constituency; Josiah Olu, Eleme Constituency; Innocent Barikor, Gokana Constituency; Friday Nubari Nke-ee, Khana Constituency II; and Azubuike Wanjoku representing Ikwerre Constituency.
These members have access to copies of the Rivers State 2016 and 2017 budgets just like other members of the State Assembly. The Budget speech and estimates have been published and circulated by the Rivers State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.
Therefore, it is mischievous for the APC and her official trader to buy airtime on Channels Television to spread deliberate falsehood. This action is not coincidental.
If Channels Television wished to discuss Budgetary Processes in states, would it be discussing one state and a shade of opinion. There are hundreds of civil society organisations in Rivers State with variegated inclinations. Why dedicate airtime to a trading agency under the sponsorship of Rotimi Amaechi. This is coming on the heels of the appearance of Amaechi on the same station.
Has Channels Television ever called a trader to discuss the 2017 Lagos State budget, which followed similar process as that of Rivers State? Has Channels Television ever exposed Lagos, APC’s flagship state to the deliberate falsehood it heaps of Rivers State? What could be responsible for this act of unprofessional broadcast journalism?
If Channels Television had been professional to cross check facts, they would have seen this statement issued by the Integrity Group on the trader that APC sponsored against Rivers State.
Meshack Uyi , the executive secretary of Integrity Group wrote:
“The Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative, also known as the “Integrity Group” has since declared its erstwhile Executive Director, one Livingstone Wechie, a PERSONA NON GRATA!
“Government, Media outfits, law enforcement agencies, Civil Society Organizations, and other well meaning Nigerians are by this notice strongly advised to act accordingly.Those who still deal with him under the guise of the Integrity Group, do so at their own risk!”
In the next few days, the same trading company will use other television stations to circulate this deliberate falsehood aimed at diverting attention from the failures of the APC Federal Government.
Being the springboard of PDP’s revival, the APC will always generate diversionary schemes on Rivers State. These schemes come in different forms. The sponsored programmes on national television is one of them.
The budgeting process in Rivers State under Governor Wike is in line with recognised standards. The budget is presented to the House of Assembly, debated by members, public hearings are held, it is passed by the House of Assembly and the governor gives his consent. All these processes are done in the public, transparently.
The implementation of the 2016 and 2017 Rivers State Budgets are the best in the country. It is for this reason that Governor Wike is Nigeria’s best performing governor.
What is happening in Rivers State is a developmental revolution. It cannot be stopped by mere television falsehood, insults and diversionary schemes. This is the home of Nigeria’s revival. All APC mischief makers singing their discordant tunes cannot change the Rivers story.
Like the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio said, Governor Wike’s achievements outweigh that of the APC Federal Government. The empirical data are on ground.
The question that should dominate the nation is whether the APC Federal Government has implemented her budget? Despite the propaganda, the 2017 APC Federal Government was not implemented up to 15percent.
According to Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, “I’m just quoting the senate leader in his speech – ‘the 2018 budget is designed to consolidate on the achievements of the 2016 and 2017 budget.. What was done in 2017 when less than 15 percent of that budget was released? Nothing was done. That was why I said the 2018 budget is fictitious”.
In Rivers State, we have a real budget, founded on the rapid development of the state . There is a people’s budget premised on improving the living standard of Rivers people.
In today’s Nigeria, no sane person will compare the failed APC states and the APC Federal Government to beautiful Rivers. If the APC Federal Government has executed 25percent of the country’s 2016 and 2017 budgets, Nigeria wouldn’t be in this sorry state.
As I write, Rivers State Economy is developing to be the nation’s leading economy with fundamental foreign direct investment.
The GreenGas LNG Facility being constructed by Grenville Oil and Gas Limited in Rumuji community of Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State is the new N140billion project that will add value to the economy of the country.
Only last week, the Federal Government gave approval to Green Energy International Limited, to build a Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, also called cooking gas extraction plant at Ikuru Town in Rivers State.
Like the Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung said in his endorsement of Governor Wike for a second term , the issue of performance transcends grammar. It is beyond propaganda.
“2019, anybody wey come dey halla, dey talk long grammar, make una ask am one question; the one wey we give you, wetin you do with am
Even Governor Wike, if him come in 2019, make him show una the one him do including the road. But I know say una go give (vote) am because him done do this one for una “.
Like I always say, the train has left the station. Can a trader stop a moving train? Rivers State under the leadership of Governor Wike is heading to 2023. The reconstruction of Rivers State cannot be derailed by a human rice jokers. Men who think through their pocket.